Jump to content

2005 Forester XT rear SLS unit leaking

Recommended Posts

My off side rear shock absorber has started leaking, chances are that the nearside will follow in the near future. :(




Bleddy Speed humps and Potholes everywhere don't help matters.


We have speed humps near where we live that are just too high but the authorities won't replace them. To get to the main roads from the estate you cannot avoid going over speed humps unless you walk, cycle on the pavement or fly.


People with low slung cars such as Audi TT's and those with lowered cars eg: Imprezas are always catching the undersides on the ramps.

It is virtually impossible even to avoid the " split in two humps " as cars are almost always parked opposite one another on the humps so you can't straddle the humps.




From what I understand, it is a Self Levelling Unit and will be very expensive to buy and replace from a Subaru dealer.




I have looked into getting one of these  Pedders Ezifit Strut replacement kits:-  





Can anyone who has used them recommend them please?.



Apparently they are supplied as a complete unit so no need to compress springs etc.




I fancy having a try at doing the work myself ( first timer ) so is it an easy job to replace the rear shocks and springs on a Forester ?.




Can someone direct me to a How To Guide.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

not a fan of peddars, never used them but have had a few in with them fitted.

I prefer the Jap KYB struts & must be paired with the KYB springs or ride height wrong.

part numbers below >

    Right Absorber KYB 334344
    Left Absorber KYB 334345
    Coilover Springs KYB RC6431

These are normally around 80 to 100 quid each, we been paying £65 trade & get free boot kit for pair purchase.

I see on eBay they doing these same KYB struts for £50 delivered :-O that is cheap

Links below:

Struts option 1 (try links below or fresh eBay search to get best prices as always changing) >



Struts option 2 (different seller, prices keep fluctuating) >



Struts option 3 (different seller, prices keep fluctuating) >



Springs >


Springs option 2 (sold in pair) >


Springs Option 3 (custom from Springcoil) >


Boot kit >



Now all that will cost less than £160

* prices are at time of posting, do search to see if any better prices can be found before commiting to purchase*

Fitting is quite simple, you will need spring compressor but this cheap tool if can't borrow one.


Top tip is mark position of bolt heads to strut mount plates on hub mount as they are concentric camber adjusting bolts & then transfer marks to new struts so when refit your camber setting will be very close to original thus hopefully close to perfect.

Very little involved really besides 2 bolts on hub & bolts on top mount in strut turret (remove inner trim carefully)

Once removed you will need compress springs just enough so it becomes loose/no load on top hat, now remove old top hats for fitting to new struts (you could indeed buy new top hats if so wish, expect old will be totally serviceable though)

your hardest part is the bolt on the strut rod to remove top hat, I got an airgun so super easy but I do know it can be a pain without an airgun in some instances .

Be sure build up struts correct with springs positioned in spring cups properly (take good note of ones removed prior to stripping or don't strip both down so have one for reference if needed)

Is tiny bit more work over peddar pre-built as have build struts (15 minutes work if bit experienced) but half the cost & better quality plus you will be a suspension master so any future suspension work will be a fearless before lunch fix :-)

Main thing is have plenty of time, be calm & think first rather than hammer first :-) , treat things with respect & use a little wd40/duck oil rather than the hammer . If you are some what handy & have decent basic tools you will have little issues ...


Rough guide on suspension heights ( middle of wheel hub to lower edge of arch )


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

some posts here; http://uk.subaruownersclub.com/forums/topic/6082-lifting-a-forester/#entry41776



you can do it your self with the Pedders kit you want to buy but you will need a torque wrench what can deliver up to 200Nm for the 2 lower bolts, best also to replace the self-locking nuts with new ones. i know there plenty of guys just use a breakers bar to tighten the bolts / nuts but it's a suspension part... and safety first!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Be brave, building the strut is 1 nut & placing spring & few parts in correct.

If you have rubber strips on original struts that spring sits on reuse them, once spring in add the strut rod boot & top hat parts & nip the nut down.

Compressing springs is not that hard & you don't need wind them down too much.

expect a local garage would build struts for 20-30 quid if you couldn't, plenty of online help here too if needed .

Replaced a few peddars as don't seem last long, KYB for quality-price-ride is damn decent, we fit them & do 2 year no quibble warranty boldly printed on invoice as been that faultless.

Standard Tokico made SLS struts are superb items but as only made to order direct to Subaru the prices are just ridiculous.

Your non leaking strut is probably easily worth £60 as people grab them up if trying keep a working SLS set ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info Mr B and bitman.



I have a suitable torque wrench and socket sets but i have never changed suspension on a car before so this could be a challenge.



Mr B, I notice that when checking compatibility on the springs in the ebay  link, they are shown as not being compatible with my Forester 2.5XT.



Are the replacement struts and springs different for the 2.5 XT Foresters?.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

looks right to me & other spring suppliers cross same part on 2.0-2.5 X & XT

Take peddars for example the XT set crosses all engine X & XT models.

All parts are listed from same supplier so would be wise call them with your exact model details- reg number & the KYB part numbers of items we looking at & get them confirm or correct as then if wrong they responsible for reshipping correct ones.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My KYB list shows RC6431 compatible with >

     Subaru    Forester    2002    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.0    1994ccm 125HP 92KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2002    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.0 S Turbo    1994ccm 177HP 130KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2003    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.0    1994ccm 125HP 92KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2003    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.0 S Turbo    1994ccm 177HP 130KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2003    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.5    2457ccm 211HP 155KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2004    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.0    1994ccm 125HP 92KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2004    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.0 S Turbo    1994ccm 177HP 130KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2004    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.5    2457ccm 211HP 155KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2005    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.0    1994ccm 125HP 92KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2005    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.0 S Turbo    1994ccm 177HP 130KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2005    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.0 X    1994ccm 158HP 116KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2005    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.5    2457ccm 211HP 155KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2005    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.5 XT    2457ccm 230HP 169KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2006    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.0 X    1994ccm 158HP 116KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2006    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.5    2457ccm 211HP 155KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2006    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.5 XT    2457ccm 230HP 169KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2007    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.0 X    1994ccm 158HP 116KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2007    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.5    2457ccm 211HP 155KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2007    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.5 XT    2457ccm 230HP 169KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2008    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.0 X    1994ccm 158HP 116KW (Petrol)

     Subaru    Forester    2008    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.5    2457ccm 211HP 155KW (Petrol)
     Subaru    Forester    2008    SG [2002-2008] SUV    SUV    2.5 XT    2457ccm 230HP 169KW (Petrol)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites




I have contacted a number of suppliers including those on Ebay over the last few days supplying them with the registration number of my Forester.




Each can supply the KYB rear shock absorbers 334344 and 334345 and protection kit 910046 but none of them can recommend or source a compatible spring.


They can supply the Coil Springs KYB RC6431 for the SG Foresters but say that they wouldn't be suitable for the XT model. 




I am a little confused now.



They can sell me the shocks and protection kit but can't source a compatible spring form KYB. That is the same answer from more than one supplier by the way.



Should I take a chance and order the KYB RC6431 springs even though they say they are not compatible or pay more and get the Pedders Ezifit which are compatible with all SG Foresters?.




Looks like the safest option could well be the more expensive Pedders kit .






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Peddars springs will be same as they use the exact same kit on X & XT as far as I'm aware so that points at the KYB springs being fine too.

Main problem is 2.5XT gets excluded from lots of lists even though it is compatible.

My KYB list shows XT as compatible on that spring part number. I am not aware of the XT running a different ride height by using different spring height or using stiffer springs than standard, I would measure current ride height on good strut side from top edge of rim to bottom edge of arch & compare to standard X model ride height as if same all but a few mm to allow for wear & measuring tolerance then they will indeed be fine.

Pretty sure we have done more than 1 XT rear suspension in the past & we use only KYB or Monroe . Done one with full set of KYB's & 25% stiffer king-springs without any issues/complications that I can recall.


What year is your XT

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Forester is an 05 reg so should be the SG model.



I supplied my registration number to the suppliers and they said they are not suitable with those shocks so I was worried that if they actually didn't fit then I would not get replacement springs from them.




Mr. B


When you fitted the KYB's  with 25% stiffer springs to a Forester what was the part number please and if I were to use those, would I have to change the front springs too or is it possible just to have stiffer springs at the rear?




Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Forester is an 05 reg so should be the SG model.



I supplied my registration number to the suppliers and they said they are not suitable with those shocks so I was worried that if they actually didn't fit then I would not get replacement springs from them.




Mr. B


When you fitted the KYB's  with 25% stiffer springs to a Forester what was the part number please and if I were to use those, would I have to change the front springs too or is it possible just to have stiffer springs at the rear?




KSRS-43 is part number for king-spring 25% higher rated springs (standard+ I think they call it).

They do standard rating & part number is KSRR-43 .

As far as i'm aware these are same model range fitting as the KYB springs.

Will try & dig out an invoice for an XT & then can confirm parts we have used.

Is a spring company in Sheffield that does car springs, custom spring setups etc & they done quite a few for the forester but can't recall name off hand, will look on the workshop pc tomorrow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

only other XT I can find invoice with suspension was the KYB struts, KYB protection boots & springcoil springs. used progressive springs giving comfort ride but stiffer as compressed that was benefit for spirited driving & allowed less drop when loaded or towing, see we also changed front springs for springcoil too a month later as handling improvement.

You can call springcoil on 0114 273 1111 , they have a few specs of spring but if you explain your use you should get good result.

Think a rear pair is around £90. Still think the KYB springs will work on XT as do on SG X, springcoil is super good quality & a true upgrade very fitting for a prodrive XT beast.

** Update: Have done XT now with KYB Springs & it is fine, if towing, carrying more load, want change your ride height a bit or sharpen handling a bit more then custom spec can be useful from springcoil.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the struts work fine on XT but looks like might need specific spring to get ride height correct, probably why we used springcoil in the past plus better handling option for XT/prodrive spec.

Some minor ground spec differences are purely due to different tyre wheel combo's between models/regions.

Do also note the same pedders ezifit kit fits all SG versions including turbo, kind of pointing at fact there is no difference.

I know springcoil done some development on XT for the likes of KYB strut conversion from SLS  & do rear & front springs for various scenarios such as fast road driving or those carrying a lot of cargo, trailers or more off road/trails use.

A call to these guys should be very useful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies.



I will phone Springcoil tomorrow if time permits.



The Pedders Ezifit kit is starting to sound more appealing as they seem to be simple to fit and are tried and tested.



Saw a second hand pair of SLS struts for the Forester on ebay but they were £299 and ended now.

Chances are though that they may soon start to leak.



Shame that you cannot remove and repair / reseal the SLS struts, or can you?.



How difficult is it to remove the interior cover trim from above the rear shocks?.

Are they just clipped in and which way do they come off, upwards or sideways or both?.




Thanks Again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's an interesting post and it's on an XT too.

He's used Sachs but KYB Monroe etc are all same fitment range on SG.

I like KYB & so do Subaru as use KYB as OEM for suspension (strut top hats are from KYB factory)

Personally I would say KYB & custom springs from likes of springcoil will be better end result than pedders & especially so for XT model with prodrive pack.

Trim is clips, drop rear seats & start on end, pull out horizontal & lift up as needed, trim is quite strong & clips are firm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Managed to remove the trim just now on my break.  




They were really stiff as mentioned but came away in one piece with no broken clips.  Result.




Will try to get hold of Springcoil shortly and ask them if they can supply compatible springs to suit the KYB Exel G shocks if fitted to a Forester SG XT




Link to comment
Share on other sites




Have ordered a pair of KYB Exel-G Shocks and the protection kit.



Waiting for an exact price from Springcoil but should be @ £90 + VAT + delivery.

Once I get a price and they have stock then I will order a pair.



I also ordered a Spring Compressor  so hopefully be next weekend everything should have arrived.




Mr B.  I noticed that in the link you provided for the How To Guide he compressed the springs whilst still fitted to the Forester.

Will I have to do this or can I remove the shocks and springs as they are before compressing the springs?


I would prefer to compress the springs in my shed where I have more space and a good bench to work on.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I stumbled on that thread & to be fair I did not look that closely at pics but indeed you don't need compress on vehicle.

take assembly out & off to you shed for compressing-stripping-assembling.

compressing spring is no big deal *do be safe & think about safety though* just wind each clamp a little in alternating stages keeping eye it pulling down evenly & clamps look secure on hook points. once  load off top hat you ready remove the strut rod nut.

I have airgun so they rattle off easy, main problem is if tight or corroded they hard undo due to not being able stop rod turning easily as turning nut, normally forester ones are not corroded as good grade metal & top turret stays clean/dry so even this should not be too difficult.

hope goes well, your good strut could make decent price on ebay making the job very affordable.

You can do me a favour & measure spring height & any spec you know on ones you chose as I will measure the KYB springs for comparison & when get opportunity will test on 2.5xt so can post sticky on tested facts on fitments through all forester SG's. Also measure your current ride height so have accurate comparison once job complete.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...




Finally managed to find the time to attempt replacing the rear Self Leveling Suspension on my 2005 Forester XT  today.



Thanks very much for your help everyone, especially Mr.B.








Pics 1 and 2 show the leaking SLS unit on the vehicle.

Pic 3  shows the SLS unit alongside the KYB unit.

Pic 4 shows the original SLS unit spring alongside the Springcoil spring which is quite a lot thicker and a touch longer.

Pic 5 shows the different set of wheels now being fitted to my Forester. I looked for ages for a set of suitable wheels with 48 offset at the right price.

Pic 6 shows the clearance around the wheel arch with KYB shocks and Springcoil Springs ( after a 5 mile trip.

Pic 7 shows how the Forester looks with fresh wheels and new rear suspension ( needs a good wash and polish now ).Even managed to partly clean the drive where the oil had leaked from the SLS unit.



The measurement from the ground to the top of the wheel arch has increased from @ just under 700 mm to @ 750 mm now.



It took over 2 hours for me to replace both sides but being my first ever attempt  at changing shock absorbers and springs, I took my time.

The bottom bolts were very hard to undo so I gave them extra rations of WD40.

Hopefully the camber or track will be OK but time will tell if it needs to be altered.

Once I managed to complete the offside then the nearside took less time.


It would have taken me probably almost as long if I had bought the Pedders ready assembled units which were quite a bit more expensive 



Going away for a week from this Friday so will put a few hundred miles on the clock and here's hoping that the rear suspension on the Forester holds together.




Thanks Again.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...